The Netherlands Minister of Foreign Affairs Bert Koenders will be in Washington, D.C. on Wednesday, July 20, to participate in a conference on the stabilization of Iraq.
The Netherlands is co-hosting the conference. Koenders will meet counterparts from more than 20 countries.
The minister will also speak during the ministerial meeting of 35 countries of the anti-ISIL coalition on Thursday, July 21, to talk about the progress in the fight against ISIL.
During the conference on Iraq, the countries will announce their efforts to keep supporting Iraq by giving shelter to refugees and helping rebuild a safe and stable society.
The Netherlands already supports Iraq with humanitarian aid, military training, demining, and stabilization. Koenders will announce Wednesday how much extra the Netherlands will contribute to support Iraq.
Minister Koenders said the pledges are important for Iraq’s future. “ISIL thrives on instability in the region. Therefore, we cannot defeat this enemy with just military means,” Minister Koenders said. “We also have to invest more in cooperation between the different groups and the people of Iraq. The Iraqi government needs our support when it comes to implementing economic and political reforms.”
Topics during the meeting will include military actions against ISIL in Iraq and Syria as well as the prospective liberation of Mosul and the fight against ISIL networks worldwide.
Minister Koenders will speak with his counterparts from Kuwait, Qatar, Jordan, Egypt and other countries on closer international cooperation to disturb financial flows and the propaganda of ISIL, and stop the arrival of foreign fighters to ISIL territory.
The Netherlands has participated in the international coalition against ISIL since October 2014. The coalition has been successful. The terror group has lost terrain in Iraq as well as Syria. The Iraqi city of Fallujah was recently liberated, and the Iraqi army is pushing forward to Mosul.
Minister Koenders emphasized that international support is still needed. “The recent ISIL attacks in Baghdad and in other places in the world prove that the fight is not over yet,” he said.